Brussels, 26 September 2018: At its inauguralevent this lunchtime in Brussels, representativesfrom the European Wireless InfrastructureAssociation (EWIA) and the European institutions discussed how independent and neutralhost wireless infrastructurecan contribute tothe growth of 5G acrossEuropewhile helping bridge the digital divide.
The event was supported by MEP Pilar del Castillo and featured interventions by Anthony Whelan, Director in the European Commission, as well as a presentation on 5G and the associated network deployment implications and how EWIA members can help make that a reality.“Open access is at the heart of our neutral host business model,” explained Olivier Huart, Chairman of EWIA.“EWIA’s members build higher capacity infrastructure which is designed for sharing by multiple network operators from the outset. We accelerate the time to market for innovators and facilitate coverage of remote areas. This in turn makes wireless services more available to end users and helps bridge the digital divide.”Connectivity is not only critical for Europe’s economy –it also improves immeasurably the lives of its citizens and acts as the glue linking people and wider communities. To deliver on the promise of a connected Digital Single Marketand deliver the Gigabit society by 2025 will require massive investment in new wireless infrastructure to support high speed, high capacity and pervasive 4G and 5G networks.Pilar del Castillo MEP, who was the Rapporteur on the recast of the European Electronic Communications Code, said: “Investment, competition and regulation shape a virtuous circle that will foster the rollout of ubiquitous, very high-capacity networks and 5G broadband infrastructure. The Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications will be a crucial tool in making Europe a Gigabit society.”Olivier Huart concluded: “Our sector can unlock new investment sources from infrastructure investors,which will be critical for Europe’s wireless connectivity. Werequirea different regulatory lens which recognises the very different incentives in our sector. In this vein we are hopeful that future policy will reflect, and indeed support, wider and faster infrastructure deployment through neutral host investment.” Please see EWIA’s infographic and narrative for more information.